Dumped By His Girlfriend, A Jilted Psychopath Brutally Murdered Her Look-Alike

And how an elite Texas Ranger specialist made the unrepentant killer confess

Mo Spectre
9 min readApr 22, 2021


When a job-seeking university student, Jacqueline(Jackie) Vandagriff, walked into a Denton bar, a psychopath out for revenge turned her beautiful evening into a night of savage cruelty. The barbarity was enough to shock seasoned investigators to the core.

Jacqueline Vandagriff was a 24-year-old licensed aesthetician and a gifted student at the Texas Women’s University, where she studied Nutrition. Her apartment was near the university, and when Jackie went to the Shots and Crafts Bar to ask for a job opening, she met Charles Bryant. Surveillance videos in the bar show Jackie and Charles drinking and having a good time, and when the same grainy video cameras show the two walking out of the bar and disappearing into the night, that was the last time she was seen alive.

Jackie’s meeting with Charles was unplanned, a stroke of mere luck, but to Charles, he was a man on a mission and his target was any woman who fit the bill. He carefully choreographed how he moved as the university is only a few meters away, a little off course meant breaking a restraining order issued against him for stalking and harassing an 18-year-old Caitlin Mathis, a student at the University of North Texas who, after a bad relationship, dumped him.

Notwithstanding, the 29-year-old Charles Bryant would not take no for an answer resulting in what ensued as a case of cat and mouse between campus police and a pushy Charles.

Charles Bryant and Caitlin Mathis

Charles Bryant worked as a bartender, and for three months, he and Caitlin Mathis were involved in a relationship despite the 11 years age gap between the two. He seemed harmless and even charming at first; he was fit and was adorned with tattoos. His shaved head also complimented the machismo look.

This sentiment was also conveyed by a UFC professional fighter Jinh Yu Frey who said, “Every once in a while, this random guy would show up [at the gym], and I don’t know if anybody really knew who he was or where he trained it was just an open mat. I don’t know what school he supposedly trained at or whatever, but he was really athletic-looking, like nice physique like kind of intimidating looking because you are like wow this guy is in really good shape, but then once you started to roll with him, you realize the guy knew nothing.” The paper tiger guy she was referring to was Charles Bryant.

Charles and Caitlin’s relationship was going well and romance was blooming. Whenever Charles would upset Caitlin he would buy her flowers, but it was only to bribe her in order to forgive his bad behaviour. He was a control freak who demanded to know her every location and monitored her movements. This was exacerbated by his narcissistic behavior telling her, “you’ll never find anyone better than me.” His actions later would confirm that what he meant was, if he can’t have her, no one will ever have her.

Although Caitlin gave the relationship enough chances to flourish, when she finally couldn’t stomach the toxicity, she ended it and refused to give grounds. This drove Charles over the fence and he refused to accept it. What he did next was not only tiring for Caitlin but also for the campus police, who, time after time, had to arrest him.

A week after she had broken up with him, Caitlin moved away from her home to her campus, the University of North Texas’s dormitories. Campus police stopped Charles at a traffic stop while driving inside the campus. A few hours later, Charles was once again back into Caitlin’s campus, but this time, he knocked on her door, and when a scared Caitlin opened the door, she immediately called the campus police on him. Fortunately for her, the police were helpful as they banned him from the campus and issued him a no-trespass order.

This was a man who did not care about the rules or the authorities’ determination to protect campus residents as he was determined to defy them.

Charles Bryant getting arrested for trespassing by University of North Texas campus police

Charles’s hideous stalking of Caitlin continued. To her detriment, it reached a point where he would show up at her place of work. On August 31, 2016, he showed up on her first day of work at a restaurant. To her shock, her co-workers told her that Charles was also in the restaurant the previous day, looking for her.

I wonder how he knew about her new job? Was he stalking her on the net, and was she putting her info online? Whatever it was, he must be good at getting information since he could show up at her place of work a day before she even started to work there. Unfortunately, she quit her new job because of him and went back to her old job. I don’t know how prudent this decision was for her since there was no doubt that he also knew about her old job. Perhaps her old manager was more protective, considering her new manager didn’t know how he could help her when she helplessly asked to keep him out.

On September 6, 2016, Charles was again knocking Caitlin’s door. Scared of the ordeal he was subjecting her to, she hid in her suitemate’s wardrobe and made a phone call to the campus police. When the police arrived, they found flowers and a two-page letter. He was already gone, but ten minutes later, they found him jogging within the campus and had him arrested for trespass.

A few hours later, he was out after having posted bond. He didn’t learn the lesson and was at it again, this time contacting her from a new email saying, “here I am heartbroken and with a criminal record for bringing the girl I love flowers.” With the help of the Police, Caitlin received an emergency protective order because of his persistent stalking. The police rearrested Charles at his house for stalking. It was the third time he was arrested within two weeks’ time frame. However, he was again out after posting bond.

Meeting Jackie Vandagriff

On September 13, 2016, Charles decided to go to a bar that was only half a mile away from Caitlin’s dorm. It was a place she had told him about when the two were dating. At the same time, Jackie Vandagriff, an innocent, beautiful young woman who was a student herself, decided to go to the same bar and ask for a job. Instead, she met Charles, and the two engaged in conversation.

Jackie Ton, a close friend of Jackie Vandagriff, reminiscing about her friend, said, “Jackie was a very social person; whenever she went out, she would make friends with everybody.” However, for Jackie Vandagriff, it would be her last conversation. The next day on September 14, 2016, police found her body. Not only was she dead, but she was also burnt beyond recognition. Despite the difficulty, investigators were able to identify her remains.

The investigation

The police were somewhat lucky; their suspect was already under arrest for the charges of stalking Caitlin. He thought he was clever, continuing his stalking by switching tactics. Whereas before he was making direct contact, he was now sending Caitlin creepy emails from new accounts. Nevertheless, he got himself arrested for violating the restraining order.

Police identified Charles Bryant as the last man seen with Jackie from the bar’s CCTV camera. They were also lucky enough to track down some of the people in the bar, and when one of the women questioned by police said the man who was with Jackie had given her his business card, investigators zeroed in on their prime suspect.

When it emerged that he was already in prison for violating a restraining order, coupled with the stalking, they were convinced Charles Bryant was their man but there was a problem. There was no evidence directly tying him to the murder apart from the video in which he was seen with her. The police interrogation also didn’t yield fruits; he denied any further interaction with Jackie apart from seeing her at the bar.

Meanwhile, investigators got a warrant to search Charles’s home, where they found a large hunting knife and Jackie’s purse. They also found a missing kiddie pool from his yard, which resembled the one Jackie was found in, but the biggest scoop didn’t come from his home. It came from a CCTV which picked Charles buying a shovel from Walmart. Despite all the overwhelming evidence against him, nothing could stick. During the investigation, Charles himself admitted that the emerging picture for investigators doesn’t put him in a good light.

The investigation had come together rather neatly. The suspect was already in prison; the purse, the suspicious knife, the missing kiddie pool, the CCTV video of him buying a shovel the night of Jackie’s disappearance were all somewhat useless since the police had nothing which put him at the murder scene. The alternative was to make him talk, a confession. Investigators then sought an elite Texas Ranger who specialized in interviewing hardcore killers in the State of Texas.

Ranger Jim Holland didn’t waste time and took Charles to task. However, Charles kept on denying meeting Jackie, but when Ranger Holland suggested that they do a memory test like “going back in time,” Charles took the bait. Before long, Ranger Holland was steering him to a confession. Charles denied having sex with Jackie, yet three hours into the interrogation, he was now admitting to having had sex with Jackie. However, he framed it as kinky sex, claiming that Jackie wanted to be choked. The lies didn’t get past Ranger Holland; he had his man. Charles ended up confessing to murdering Jackie and burning her body as a way of destroying the evidence.


Besides the gruesome murder, Charles’s depraved actions included sending Caitlin pictures of Grapevine lake, which detectives believe he took the night of the murder. Not stopping there, detectives also believed he had posted on Jackie’s Twitter after she had been killed. The Twitter post read, “never knew I could feel like this.”

Ranger Jim Holland believes that Charles was a serial killer in the making who was caught early due to a rookie’s mistake. Jackie’s killing was not just another murder; it was as personal as it was savage. He wasn’t satisfied with only killing her; he had to dismember her and burn her as well. This showed the deep seething hate he espoused for any woman who reminded him of Caitlin. Jackie was only a victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.

This is painful considering Jackie had dreams, and going by how she lived her life, she would have made terrific contributions to society. But that is all gone now because one man couldn’t come to terms with a breakup and move on.

Anytime I write about the murder of a young woman, I think about the family she would have raised, the children who would have called her mom, and consequently, I can’t help but think not only is the family robbed of a loved one but mankind is equally deprived of the beautiful contributions she would have made. It’s like a tree has been uprooted, the end of endless possibilities.

Charles Bryant was found guilty of the murder of Jacqueline (Jackie) Vandagriff and was sentenced to life in prison. Under Texas law, he could be eligible for parole in 30 years.


He wanted me dead

Coverage of Jackie Vandagriff’s murder



Mo Spectre

A silly boy who became a silly man. I have a Klingon’s view of life and the sensitiveness of an Andorian.